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Jun 15, 2020

Youth Leadership Council hosts global webinar

Since mid-March, Global Fund for Children has been working with our community-based partners, who are uniquely positioned to protect children and youth around the world during the coronavirus pandemic. Through our Emergency Response Fund, supporters like you are helping provide grassroots organizations with the immediate resources they need to keep young people safe and healthy during COVID-19 and beyond.
Since our last update:
On June 3, Global Fund for Children's Youth Leadership Council(YLC) invited friends and supporters to hear directly from four local leaders in Kenya, India, Mexico, and Moldova who have received emergency grants. 
The panelists were joined by viewers from across the globe. The global conversation created a firsthand look into how the global pandemic is impacting children and youth and how community-led organizations are mobilizing to respond.
Recognizing the value in the diverse expertise, geographies, and experiences of GFC partners, the Youth Leadership Council created the webinar to amplify on-the-ground accounts of challenges and responses related to the pandemic.
The event was moderated by the Chair of the Youth Leadership Council, Mete.
"It's important that people understand all the different ways the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our global community. From Mexico to Kenya, and India to Moldova, there is obvious overlap, but certain issues are very contextual. I'm glad that the young people in our council could open up this space for learning between GFC partners and those who tuned in," Mete said.
The webinar sparked the interest of hundreds of partners, peer organizations, and individual supporters. One of the questions explored by participants wasWhat do you believe worries children and youth most about COVID-19? The top four responses were education(39%), physical wellbeing(20%), mental health(16%), and child abuse(14%).
To read more about the Youth Leadership Council webinar, click here. 
Jun 8, 2020

Youth Leadership Council Hosted a Global Call

A Screenshot From the Call (permission received)
A Screenshot From the Call (permission received)

On June 3rd GFC’s Youth Leadership Council hosted a global conversation with four GFC community leaders to talk about the impact of Covid19 on children and youth. As the Covid19 pandemic continues to unfold, the Youth Leadership Council identified the need for a public discussion focusing on the challenges of community organizations and on what their on-going relief efforts look like. GFC’s community-based partners have not only rapidly mobilized to respond to young people’s emergency needs but also plan longer-term responses to protect young people during pandemic recovery and beyond. The four leaders representing GFC community-led partners from Kenya, India, Mexico, and Moldova provided an authentic look into how children and youth are being impacted and what they have been going through to adjust their programs to the current needs.

The moderator of the global call was Mete Coban, Chair of Global Fund for Children’s Youth Leadership Council, who also amplifies youth voices sitting on GFC’s board. This event, being a great opportunity created by the Youth Leadership Council, engaged 130 partners, supporters, and other interested individuals eager to connect and recognize that children and youth are heard and valued. A question was asked during the webinar on what the participants believe worries children and youth most about Covid19. The top four responses were education (39%), physical well-being (20%), mental health (16%), and child abuse (14%).

One of the speakers, Paulina Olvera Cáñez from Espacio Migrante shared that the challenges migrant families and children on the US-Mexico border face are the increased uncertainty levels, true struggles with acquiring shelter, and inability to satisfy their basic needs. Tatiana Costev presenting Institute for Rural Initiatives in Moldova and Sudha Upadhyayula from HER Choices Foundation in India described the unexpected shifts of the situation and the urgency of figuring out how to adapt their programmes to the new context. Not being able to provide offline support to the communities anymore, they had to be creative about their solutions. In Kenya, Douglas Mwangi from Oasis Mathare came up with a technological solution through an SMS tool, enabling all their beneficiaries to access the learning content shared by the organization inconsistent with having access to the internet or a smartphone.

Douglas acknowledges they were emotionally affected by the pandemic and appreciates the way GFC’s programs team was able to hold conversations with them and talk about their well-being. “I am very thankful for the GFC team being there for us,” he said. Tatiana from Moldova generously shared, “What is important in our partnership with Global Fund for Children is how GFC supports us as a team, and how they help us to grow ourselves as individuals.” Paulina from Mexico believes one of the ways to move forward is to educate themselves on racial injustice, as one of the important topics in the current context, considering the escalated racial discrimination against indigenous and black migrants.

At the end of the webinar, the other members of the Youth Leadership Council Sunga, Nasra, Katie, and Antonina shared much appreciation of the work our community leaders do. They were truly inspired and sent encouragement and solidarity to the speakers. This was an excellent discussion and invaluable experience sharing based on the feedback we received from the participants of the webinar.

Links:

Apr 27, 2020

Our continued response to COVID-19

Action Femme Enfants, Senegal.
Action Femme Enfants, Senegal.

Since mid-March, Global Fund for Children has been working with our community-led partners, who are uniquely positioned to protect children and youth during the coronavirus pandemic. Support through our Emergency Response Fund is helping provide grassroots organizations with the immediate resources they need to keep young people safe and healthy during COVID-19 and beyond.

Since our last update:

  • Seventy-six partners in 22 countries have requested our support
  • We’ve already approved $153,000 in emergency grants to 54 partners
  • We expect partners to need more than $500,000 in the coming months alone

The coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating vulnerabilities for children and youth worldwide, and GFC’s partners are at the heart of community responses. These local organizations have pivoted to providing emergency hygiene kits, critical food supplies, and accurate information to children and families. They're also struggling to support young people affected by economic fallout, spikes in violence, and unsafe situations caused by pandemic lockdowns, while searching for new ways to continue delivering key programming with limited resources.

Organizations GFC has helped support include:

Ashanti Peru, a group that works with Afro-Peruvian youth to combat racism and support the Afro-Peruvian community. The Afro-Peruvian community in Lima only has access to running water a few hours a day, and Ashanti Peru is distributing free hygiene kits with hand sanitizer and soap to hundreds of poor and vulnerable families there.

Samburu Girls Foundation, based in Kenya, which operates a rescue center for over 300 girls who have escaped from abusive homes, child marriage, and/or female genital mutilation. Because of the pandemic, Samburu was forced to shut down the center and find safe, temporary housing for the girls. Samburu is working with families, village leaders, and broadcast media to continue to protect these girls, as well as provide accurate information about COVID-19 to the community.

Institute for Rural Initiatives, based in Moldova, which builds civic culture and increases economic opportunities for children and families in Moldova’s poorest communities. Now, the biggest challenge these rural families are facing is hunger. Since the pandemic began, IRI has mobilized local groups in 19 villages all over Moldova, assisting 73 families and 249 children with food and essential supplies.

Your support is critical to helping more grassroots organizations like these meet urgent needs for children and communities.

GFC partner delivering masks and hand sanitizers.
GFC partner delivering masks and hand sanitizers.
A GFC partner in Honduras providing medical care.
A GFC partner in Honduras providing medical care.
 
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